The Chesapeake Executive Council in October announced the recipients of its Businesses for the Bay Excellence Awards for 2000. The annual awards, started in 1998, recognize voluntary efforts by business and government for their voluntary efforts to reduce the amount of pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay. The theme for the 2000 awards was “Moving Toward Zero Release.”

The winners are:

  • Ted Jett, of Merck & Co. of Elkton, VA received the Mentor of the Year Award. Jett has led efforts to reduce environmental releases from his plant by more than 80 percent in the last 10 years. He is a member of Virginia’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee and serves as chairman of the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s Environmental Affairs Committee, where he participates in peer-to-peer mentoring programs.

  • Geisinger Health System, of Danville, PA, received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Large Businesses. Geisinger substituted non-hazardous for hazardous chemicals used at its facilities and reduced its hazardous waste generation by 50 percent. It replaced its medical waste incinerator with a non-polluting sterilizer, which reduced toxic air pollutants by 23 tons, and installed a catalytic converter on its emergency generator. An EPA Greenlights Partner, Geisinger retrofitted 24,000 light fixtures, which reduced its electrical load one-megawatt. Additionally, Geisinger established a 300-acre Pennsylvania Stewardship Forest to provide watershed protection, wildlife habitat and hiking trails.

  • Unilever Home and Personal Care, of Baltimore, received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Medium Business. Unilever eliminated contaminants entering stormwater drains and conducted studies to identify ways to reduce discharges through pollution prevention measures. It has also upgraded technologies, which resulted in a 20,000-pound annual reduction in solvent and aqueous wastes entering the waste stream.

  • AMZ Manufacturing of York, PA received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Small Business. AMZ altered its electroplating process, which resulted in a 50 percent reduction in hazardous spent cleaner, and saved more than 80,000 kilowatts of electricity and 3,000 gallons of water per year.

  • Elizabethtown College of Lancaster, PA received the Outstanding Achievement Award for an Educational Institute. The College implemented an energy management system that annually saves 4 million kilowatt hours and eliminates the need to burn 2,000 tons of coal. Further energy reductions were made through upgrades from ordinary fluorescent lamps to low-mercury content lighting. A campuswide recycling program reduced waste by 46 tons last year.

  • The City of Newport News, VA received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Municipal Government. The city distributed 10,000 pieces of literature to educate residents on the improper application of pesticides and fertilizers as well as the improper disposal of household chemicals, which resulted in the collection of 8,000 pounds of household chemicals through the Household Chemical Collection program. It also reduced electricity use by upgrading lighting and heating systems in several facilities. The Newport News’ print shop switched to non-hazardous biodegradable solutions.

  • Portsmouth Coast Guard Integrated Support Command of Portsmouth, VA received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Federal/State Government. Coast Guard ISC Portsmouth has searched for environmentally friendly substitutes for hazardous materials and improved reuse and recycling opportunities at its Hazardous Minimization Center. Through a partnership with the Elizabeth River Project, ISC has planted nearly 2,000 native trees and shrubs in recent reforestation projects.

  • Proctor & Gamble Cosmetics of Hunt Valley, MD, received the Significant Achievement Award for Large Business. Proctor & Gamble has sustained and expanded improvements to their batch of cosmetics processes that earned them the same award in 1999. P&G pollution prevention teams identified source reduction opportunities in the nail production line, which will have the capability to reduce acetone use by more than 178,000 pounds per year. The company reduced the amount of packaging for their products by 184,000 pounds per year and began recycling 40,000 pounds per year of shrink-wrap, resulting in the disposal of significantly less solid waste.

  • Canon Virginia of Newport News, VA received the Significant Award for Large Business. Canon’s goal of “zero landfill” by 2001 has reduced solid waste by 98 percent since 1990. In the same time frame, programs in solvent recycling and water-based technologies have reduced production costs, VOCs and other emissions. The use of PBTs has also been eliminated, and methylene chloride is scheduled to be eliminated this year.

The awards are judged on several criteria, including the environmental and social significance of work in pollution prevention activities, the technical value and transferability to other sectors or facilities, the degree of commitment, and originality and innovation.